Cancer Awareness

Being informed increases survival rates

1 in 2 people will be affected by cancer in their lifetime. The NHS provides screening facilities for patients which can detect cancer early. Bowel, Cervical and Breast cancer are among the most common cancer diagnoses and screening is available for them all.

Not all cancers can be prevented but there are things we can do to reduce our risk. Making healthy changes now, can improve your health. More people are surviving cancer than ever before but we can save even more lives by catching cancer early and starting treatment faster. By adopting improved health behaviours this will help people live longer and have healthier lives.


Thousands of lives could be saved each year if we were all more aware of the signs and symptoms of cancer, as early treatment significantly improves survival rates.

It is important that we check ourselves regularly for any changes to our bodies. If you are worried about anything you think could be a symptom of cancer, get it checked by your GP.

Attend all of the screening invitations you receive, and encourage your family to do the same.

Useful websites

Breast Cancer Now

Cancer Research

Macmillian support for cancer

What happens at a cervical screening (smear test appointment)

What happens at a breast screening appointment (mammogram)

Signs and symptoms of cancer

How to use a FIT test

Check your risk of prostate cancer


black and red cherries on white bowl

Healthier diets could help prevent up to a third of all cancers in the UK, especially as being overweight increases the risk of developing some types of cancer.

Foods that are high in fat and sugar should be avoided as they have no additional vitamins and minerals. High-fat or sugary food and drink give you a shirt-term energy boost but can also cause weight gain. Better options would be foods with unsaturated fats such as: nuts, avocados and olive oil. Foods high in salt content should also be avoided.

Eating well and and keeping a healthy weight will help you feel stronger, increase your energy levels, keep your immune system healthy, and improve your sense of well being.

For help with diet and weight loss you can contact your surgery for a referral to services such as Slimming World and Digital Weight Management (subject to certain criteria).

Diet and cancer | Cancer Research UK

Physical Activity

silhouette photography of woman doing yoga

Regular exercise is beneficial to you in many ways, helping to keep your immune system healthy and lowering your risk of getting cancer. Regular exercise contributes to a healthy weight and can improve your mood and wellbeing significantly.

If you have not exercised for a while then starting slow can help, building up your stamina as you go.

Being on a healthy diet whilst exercising can effectively help with weight loss. How to Start Exercising: A Beginner’s Guide to Working Out (

What are the benefits of exercise? | Cancer Research UK

For information regarding exercise groups and physical activity programs please contact your surgery who can refer you to our Social Prescribers who will be happy to help.


Smoking is the biggest cause of cancer in the world. Tobacco smoke contains many chemicals that can damage the DNA in your cells. It not only damages your lungs, it damages the cells around your whole body. There is no safe way to use tobacco. All forms are addictive and can cause cancer. Smoking is addictive due to the nicotine content, but it’s the other chemicals in tobacco that can cause cancer. Smoking causes 7 out of 10 cases of lung cancer.

The best way to reduce your cancer risk is to stop smoking completely. The number of people that have stopped smoking has increased in recent years and you can do it too!

How do I stop smoking? | Cancer Research UK

NHS Smokefree Helpline: 0300 123 1044.

single cigarette stick with ashes stick

As well as increasing your risk of cancer, smoking can harm your health in many other ways. Smoking is one of the biggest causes of death and illness in the UK.

Smoking increases your risk of developing over 50 serious health conditions. Smoking damages your heart and blood circulation leading to many heart conditions such as: heart attack and coronary heart disease. It can damage your lungs developing respiratory conditions like: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and Emphysema. It can also reduce fertility in both men and women.


clear glass bottle with red liquid

Alcohol can cause 7 types of cancer including mouth, breast, liver and bowel cancer. It can also lead to strokes, heart disease, liver disease and brain damage.

Excessive alcohol use can lead to an increased risk of cancer. The risk of developing cancer is higher the more a person drinks, particularly over time. The risk is higher for cancers of the larynx, oesophageal and mouth, as the alcohol has direct contact with these areas.

The risk of developing cancer is higher the more a person drinks, particularly over time. The risk is higher for cancers of the larynx, oesophageal and mouth, as the alcohol has direct contact with these areas. Steps can be taken to lower the risk of alcohol related cancers. Cut down your alcohol intake and adhere to the recommended units of alcohol per week.

Alcohol units – NHS (

Seeking professional help is advised if you are suffering with a drink problem.

Alcohol and cancer | Cancer Research UK